Harry Ott, president of S.C. Farm Bureau, was the guest speaker at the Farm Bureau annual banquet on Monday night.
Ott spoke about the importance of telling the story of agriculture. He said the public needs to know that there is more to getting your food to you than just a trip to the grocery store. Ott said they needed to “connect the dots” between the farmer and getting the food to the table. He said they had a great story to tell, and he believes the public will buy into it and support it.
The program began with a call to order by President Keith Allen and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Caleb Miller. Tommy Stephens gave the invocation. This was followed by supper.
Keith Allen welcomed and recognized the guests. Local official present included Rep. Lucas Atkinson, Dillon County Council Vice-Chairman Stevie Grice, and Dillon County Councilman T.F. “Buzzy” Finklea, Jr.
A. Vic Bethea presented the minutes of the last meeting followed by the presentation of the Treasurer’s report by Tommy Stephens.
Keith Allen gave the County President’s report.
Cullen Bryant gave the report from the nominations committee.
OFFICERS OF DILLON COUNTY FARM BUREAU:
President: Keith Allen, Vice President: Cullen Bryant, Executive Secretary: A.V. (Vic) Bethea, Treasurer: Tommy Stephens, State Director: Cullen Bryant, Alternate State Director: A.V. (Vic) Bethea.
2018 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Keith Allen, Cullen Bryant, A.V. (Vic) Bethea, Tommy Stephens, and Joseph Gleason.
2018 DIRECTORS: Timmy Arnette, Gerald Arnette, Randy Berry, Caleb Coleman, Bruce (Sonny) Price Jr, Daniel Baxley, Fitzhugh Bethea, Lavern Brigman, Curt McSwain, Joe Hayes, Carroll Allen, Daniel Coleman, TRE Coleman, Harold Gasque, and Wesley Price.
2018 County Committee Members: Woman’s Committee Chairman: Kate A Miller, Legislative & Public Affairs Chairman: Cullen Bryant, and Young Farmer Committee Chairman: Caleb Miller.
Vic Bethea reported on the resolutions. They are as follows:
DILLON COUNTY FARM
1. We recommend that all U.S. Congressional districts be redrawn in a way that is fair and equitable to all constituents in each district, using County lines when possible.
2. We support the development of alternative fuels derived from the production of agriculture products, with special emphasis given to Soy Diesel and Ethanol.
3. We feel that any bonified farmer should be able to participate in USDA programs regardless of their adjusted gross income.
4. We continue to support Federal Crop Insurance system. (risk management) We support a minimum funding level equal to the 2014 levels.
5. We recommend that South Carolina Farm Bureau work with other groups (soybeans and cotton etc.) to establish a realistic RMA and FSA final planting date.
6. We feel that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is adequate to provide safety for workers and commodities.
7. We recommend that the Federal Employment Commission implement a system that requires a temporary employee sign a statement that if a job is temporary he is not eligible for unemployment compensation. Temporary would be considered less than 120 days of continuous employment.
8. We encourage Congress to include in the 2019 Farm Bill provisions for a disaster program for production agriculture including row crop farmers.
9. We encourage Congress to include Cotton as a covered commodity in the 2019 Farm Bill.
10. We oppose any unrealistic increase in minimum wage requirements.
FARM BUREAU RESOLUTIONS 2017-2018
1. We encourage the DOT to improve maintenance on secondary and rural roads, to include cleaning right away, maintaining adequate surfaces and maintaining ditches.
2. We urge the South Carolina Employment Security Commission to evaluate the criteria for paying unemployment benefits to ensure that only those deserving of payments are included.
3. We encourage our Legislature to enact legislation what would give tax credits to Manufacturers of Bio Diesel and Ethanol in the State of South Carolina.
4. We encourage DOT to consider the adverse effects that I-73 will have on farming operations throughout the State. We recommend that any farm divided by the Interstate have access to each field without traveling more than four extra miles. In addition the I-73 project should not create a detour in excess of 4 miles.
5. We encourage SC Department of Agriculture to implement a used pesticide container disposal program that would help farmers in each county dispose of their containers, in a responsible manner, and recycle when possible.
6. We recommend Clemson have no less than one agent per two counties.
7. We recommend that South Carolina Farm Bureau work with other groups (soybean and cotton etc.) to establish a realistic RMA and FSA final planting date.
8. We support the continuation of the Department of Ag collection of unwanted and out dated pesticides.
9. We urge Dillon County Council to work in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of natural Resources, Clemson University, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and USDA agencies to develop a program to control the increasing beaver, wild hogs and coyote population affecting Dillon County land owners.
10. No member can hold two executive offices at the same time.
11. We recommend that the SC Employment Commission implement a system that requires a temporary employee sign a statement that if a job is temporary he is not eligible for unemployment compensation. Temporary would be considered less than 120 days of continuous employment.
12. We recommend that the SC Department of agriculture set up standards for testing and monitor the procedures for the vomitoxin and any other micotoxin. We also ask the companies testing for these toxins be required to disclose the intent of the test in the contract so that farmers are not caught off guard.
DILLON COUNTY FARM BUREAU RESOLUTIONS
COUNTY AND LOCAL
1. We urge that law enforcement authorities and court systems of Dillon County take a stronger stand against drug trafficking, gang activity and other illegal activities.
2. We commend the Sheriffs’ Department for their efforts in enforcing the county’s litter laws and the illegal dumping of trash on private property.
3. We recommend that three (3) members of the Dillon County Farm Bureau Board meet with the Dillon County Development Board Chairman to explore any and all possibilities for attracting agricultural related industries to Dillon County.
4. We urge Dillon County Council to work in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and USDA agencies to develop a program to control the increasing beaver, wild hogs and coyote population affecting Dillon County landowners.
5. We encourage Dillon County Council to have specified Recycling Sites for Pressure Rinse / Triple Rinse pesticide containers on selective days during the normal use seasons.
6. We encourage and support a very active FFA, Ag, and 4-H program in each high school in Dillon County.
7. We strongly oppose the consolidation of school districts in Dillon County.
8. We encourage DOT to consider the adverse effects that I-73 will have on farming operations throughout the State. We recommend that any farm divided by the Inter-State have access to each field without traveling more than four extra miles. In addition the I-73 project should not create a detour in excess of 4 miles.
9. We Commend the Sheriff and his office for their great work even in bad economic times. Theft of farm equipment and chemicals has increased. We would ask that the offenders be prosecuted to the fullest extent when convicted.
Keith Allen presented this resolution.
Dillon County Farm Bureau believes that dams made by beavers or other natural occurrences should not fall under the regulations of DHEC or any other governmental agency. Property owners should not have to maintain, inspect or be liable for damages from these dams.
This was followed by the introduction of the guest speaker by Cullen Bryant, the remarks by Ott, and adjournment.
Photos by Betsy Finklea/The Dillon Herald
Click once to bring a photo into a single screen, and then again to enlarge.